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How To Clean Commercial Coffee Machines in Your Business

Whether you run a tire shop, boutique, real estate office, or any other kind of business, there's one thing that keeps it moving: coffee. Cleaning a commercial coffee machine can seem daunting, but the process is probably more straightforward than you think. With a few easily obtained products and a little work, you can keep everyone's favorite office appliance in top shape.

Cleaning the Inside of Your Commercial Coffee Maker

While hard tap water isn't necessarily harmful to you, it can harm your commercial coffee machine and other appliances. The build-up clogs water lines and wears out heating elements. Therefore, descaling a coffee brewer inside is just as important as cleaning the pot, filter funnel, and exterior.

Pick A Descaling Agent

To remove this build-up from your coffee maker, you need to select a descaling agent before you being. Here are a few gentle, food-friendly options:

  • White Vinegar. You can find large jugs of distilled white vinegar at any grocery, making it one of the more popular options for cleaning coffee machines and other appliances. Because it's very acidic, you'll need to run a few rinse cycles to remove it and prevent any lingering taste.
  • Lemon Juice. You can undoubtedly squeeze fresh lemons, but there are plenty of bottled organic lemon juices, as well. While the smell might be more palatable to your workers and customers, you should still run a few rinse cycles.
  • Citric Acid. Not as acidic as the name suggests, this option requires fewer rinses than other solutions. It's generally used in bath bombs and as a preserving agent for foods, so it's available in powder form from groceries and hobby stores.

Clean the Inside of Your Machine in Ten Steps

Now that you have your descaling agent selected, it's time to start cleaning. Ten steps may seem like a lot, but each step is straightforward and may take a few minutes or less.

  1. Mix your descaling agent with water. No matter your solution, it should be 1 part solution to 2 parts water. So if you have one cup of vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid, mix it with 2 cups of water. This prevents the acidity from wearing away parts in your commercial coffee maker.
  2. Pour your solution into the water reservoir. Wherever you put water to brew your coffee, that's where the solution goes.
  3. Start a brew cycle. There's no need for a filter. As the machine brews, the solution spreads anywhere limescale might accumulate.
  4. Dump the brewed solution into the coffee pot. Since it's been used, it's too weak to clean any further.
  5. Turn off, unplug and allow your machine to cool.
  6. Remove the spray head. This is the cap above your coffee pot where the coffee comes out. On many models, it either screws or pops off.
  7. Clean the spray head. You can use a small brush to remove any build-up on the holes. You can also soak it in your descaling solution if it's particularly dirty.
  8. Clean the spray head opening. Be sure to gently scrub and wipe down the area your spray head covers on the machine.
  9. Run rinse cycles. After plugging your machine back in, pour clean water into the reservoir and brew. If you notice any residue or smells from your solution, dump the water, rinse the pot and run rinse cycles until it smells and looks clean.
  10. Attach the spray head. Turn off, unplug and allow your coffee machine to cool. Then replace the spray head.

Cleaning the Filter Funnel

When you open your machine to put in a coffee filter, you place the filter in a removable basket or funnel. Because water sits here as it filters through coffee grounds, it often gets covered in limescale like the inside of your machine.


To begin cleaning a filter funnel, scrub it with some of your descaling solution, then clean with warm, soapy water. Rinse, then place it back into your machine.

Clean the Exterior of Your Machine

The final part of cleaning a commercial coffee machine is cleaning the exterior. While not exposed to as much hard water as the interior, the surface can get dusty, greasy, or covered with coffee grounds.

  1. Fill a spray bottle with your descaling solution. Using the same 1 to 3 ratio as before, mix your chosen descaling agent with water. If you have some left over from the interior cleaning, you can use that.
  2. Turn off and unplug the machine.
  3. Spray the exterior of the machine. After this, allow the solution to sit for a minute or more.
  • Optional: Apply baking soda to any particularly greasy areas, which will cause your solution to bubble and loosen any tough particles. You need a minimal amount on a non-abrasive brush.
  1. Wipe down the machine. Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe the solution off of your appliance. You can use a regular dishcloth, but it may leave streaks and lint behind
  2. Dry the machine. Once again, you may use a dry dishcloth, but a dry microfiber cloth prevents lint and streaks.

When to Clean Your Commercial Coffee Machine

Now that you know how to clean your commercial coffee machine, you might be wondering how often you should do it. For areas with particularly hard tap water, once a week should suffice. After that, the exterior and filter funnel should be spot cleaned as needed, with deeper routine cleanings done once every week.

Keep Your Commercial Coffee Machine Running

Now that you know how to and how often you should clean your commercial coffee machine, it should run much smoother along with your pleasantly caffeinated employees and customers. However, if you found a broken part during your cleaning or found that your machine isn't running at all, contact Betson Parts

Betson Parts can keep your business running with commercial coffee machine parts from the industry's top brands. Need a new commercial coffee machine? We have you covered on that and all the coffee accessories to go along with it. With three major distribution centers across the US, 85 years of commercial parts experience, and $8 million of parts in stock, Betson Parts can meet your parts needs.